By Sheri Duff
Once Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA) General Manager Bill Watterson resigned following the drivers’ strike and ratification of the CCTA-Union collective bargaining agreement in April, it wasn’t long before former Shelburne Town Manager Paul Bohne’s name surfaced as a short-term replacement.
In retirement mode for only three months, Bohne was easily persuaded to take the interim position. “I served on the Champlain Housing Trust Board with Catherine Dimitruk, the current CCTA Board Chair,” he explained. “I also know Chapin Spencer, the CCTA Burlington Commissioner, and of course Shelburne Commissioner Denis Barton the CCTA Vice Chair and Secretary. They were instrumental in my appointment as interim general manager with CCTA,” Bohne explained.
“My first job is to work myself out of job,” Bohne said from his new digs in Burlington. “But in the meantime I will oversee two important projects. The first is a national search for a general manager. A 9-member search committee, a combination of CCTA Board members, CCTA employees, a company first, and a representative for the disabled, are in the process of evaluating 58 possible applicants. First the committee will trim the applicant pool to as few candidates as is feasible, possibly eight or nine total. Once the committee has narrowed the field to the last couple of candidates the process will be very open. The final candidates will attend a CCTA Board meeting and take questions from the public. The goal is to have a new general manager on board within six months. That’s the length of my contract,” Bohne noted.
“The other project is the downtown Burlington transit station. I’m organizing the effort to get the [transit station] design out for construction bids. It may seem aggressive, but I’m hopeful that the transit building will get back on schedule and move CCTA forward. At least that’s my plan,” he offered.
“CCTA is a good organization. And they have a good staff here. This job is a different mindset than town manager. It’s been fun so far,” Bohne informed.
The feeling is mutual. “He’s doing a terrific job,” said CCTA Vice Chair and Secretary Barton, “The employees are simply delighted.”